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People in inpatient care are hospitalized overnight, while those in outpatient care return home and do not stay overnight. Inpatient and outpatient services are similar, but outpatients are not supervised full-time.
Both inpatient and outpatient care have advantages and disadvantages. Doctors and patients determine which of the two options is best for them based on several factors, including medical needs, ability to self-supervise safely, insurance coverage, budget for care, and life and family obligations.
Inpatient hospital stays offer comprehensive, round-the-clock care for those detoxing and recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. The benefit of inpatient stays is the ability to remove oneself from temptation and triggers in everyday life and focus entirely on recovery.
Research shows that 90-day inpatient hospital care in a rehab facility or treatment program provides the best opportunity for positive long-term outcomes.
Inpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment is appropriate for anyone with an addiction, but it is ideal for those who:
Inpatient rehab hospital services and medical treatment include:
Some of these benefits are not exclusive to inpatient care. However, inpatient care offers an opportunity to immerse yourself entirely in recovery without distraction. Patients live in a safe environment free of temptation and enjoy access to customizable treatment programs.
Outpatient care for addiction is similar to inpatient care, but it doesn’t offer the same level of care. Patients continue to participate in their normal lives when receiving outpatient care. This might mean spending nights at home while attending treatment during the day. It can also mean spending just a few hours per week in treatment.
The primary benefit of outpatient care is that patients can continue to honor their everyday responsibilities and obligations while receiving treatment. Outpatient care also tends to be less expensive.
Outpatient drug and alcohol treatment is appropriate for anyone with an addiction, but it is ideal for those who:
Outpatient care includes:
Many outpatient programs have a 24/7 support line to call, but they don't have that 24/7 medication supervision that inpatient care does.
Inpatient care is more expensive than outpatient treatment because people receiving inpatient care are treated around the clock. Even if inpatients and outpatients receive the same medical services, the person undergoing inpatient care requires overnight stays and meals.
Care costs for inpatient addiction treatment can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the program and the patient’s specific needs. Most outpatient programs typically cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Keep in mind, the amount of money someone pays out-of-pocket for care depends on his or her health insurance plans and copayments. Someone receiving inpatient care might pay less out-of-pocket than someone would for basic outpatient care.
This doesn’t mean that the person in inpatient care saves money, though, because they’ve paid higher premiums in advance of receiving addiction treatment.
The cost of addiction treatment varies from person-to-person and depends heavily on someone’s situation.
The out-of-pocket cost changes dramatically for those on Medicare or Medicaid based on his or her coverage. Additionally, Medicaid patients receive different financial support based on their state of residence. Remember, Medicare or Medicaid coverage requires patients to seek care at pre-approved facilities.
In general, insurance covers at least a portion of addiction treatment. There might be other financial support options available. For example, most communities offer low- or no-cost treatment options and rehabilitation services funded via state and federal programs. These programs are based on need and might have a waiting list.
Your care provider can help you sort through the details of what’s available based on your location and circumstances.
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